The history of sports gambling in the US extends back on the times when the founders took risks. In the past bettors bet on cockfights, makeshift horse races and bare fist fights. Colonists and Pioneers that arrived in the united states from Europe and England specifically had betting in their veins as their ancestors gambled for generations. Therefore “sports betting” was a natural part and parcel of the early American culture.
Today there’s no question that sports betting activities are the rage around the globe. With the ease of online sports betting, it’s made the activity much more convenient and cheaper. Though previously the sports betting section was small, today it’s permeated virtually every facet of society.
Horse racing was popular in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and was appreciated mainly by the upper class. But horse tracks started to appear after the Civil War and very quickly gamblers from all sectors of society flocked to those racing establishments. Bookies had a hold on the gambling population and they were setting odds on horses that enhanced the betting handle. Bookies would reduce the odds on other horses to increase their attractiveness when there seemed to be a lot of money for a particular horse. By 1920s horse racing had reached the peak with more than 300 racetracks throughout the US.
Professional baseball gained popularity in the late 1800s and “pool cards” came into use. The “Black Sox Scanal” which was “fixed” rocked the US and the public received a negative view of sports bettors. Though gambling was against the law most people regarded sports gambling to be a harmless victimless crime. College football games and basketball also became popular with bettors as baseball and boxing. Pool cards were extremely popular although the odds of these cards were in the bookies favor.
In the majority of US cities, sports gambling activities were transforming into a part of life and many youngsters were being exposed to the sports betting industry at a very young age. Some professionals have said, “Sports gambling was getting more popular than hot dogs!” Soon Leo Hirschfield started Athletic Publications that became the sports betting world standard for almost three decades.
Established in 1930 this company set lines in sports events and distributed those to bookmakers within the nation through the telegraph or telephone He also published sports information that helped bookies produce better lines and gamblers make smarter decisions. The publication that had been most widely used was The Green Sheet. He was legitimate even though his clients were illegal bookies.
Sports gambling was ultimately legalized in Nevada in 1931 and also the states finances which was in dire straits at that time, changed significantly. Legalized boxing and sports gambling activities caused it to be a hot spot for tourists and this altered its economic condition for the better.
A resolution was passed in 1951 by way of the Congress that charged a 10% tax on every sports bet. New regulations permitted the bookies to come out of the dark and work openly. Turf clubs were the initial legal sports books in Nevada and they were sometimes called “sawdust” rooms. In 1980s Roxborough became a significant part of sports gambling and ushered in the technology that revolutionized sports gambling.